Pool

Vernon city council has expressed support for the idea of building a major new recreation facility, including a 50-metre swimming pool (shown here in an artist conception).

A major new recreation complex that includes a 50-metre pool, leisure pool, double gym, fitness centre and indoor running track would cost about $83 million, North Okanagan officials say.

Preliminary cost estimates, which are said to be accurate to within plus-or-minus 25 percent, have now been prepared for the so-called 'active living centre'.

In addition to construction costs, there would be annual operating costs of $1.4 million. The includes the money that would be saved through the planned closure of the current Vernon Aquatic Centre once the new facility is built.

Current financial projections are the new complex would cost the owner of a typical Vernon home an extra $167 in taxes annually.

This week, Vernon city council supported the idea of borrowing up to $90 million for the recreation centre, subject to voter approval in a future referendum.

Before such a vote could be held, however, support for the project must also be expressed by the town of Coldstream and electoral areas within the North Okanagan Regional District, as those regions are partners in Greater Vernon Recreation Services.

Planning for the proposed recreation centre dates back two years and is said to have involved extensive community consultation, along the lines of both what features people would like to see included in the building and how much of a tax increase they are willing to accept for the project to go ahead.

A survey, said to be statistically valid, was mailed to 5,000 randomly-selected Greater Vernon residents earlier this year. It was said to have found strong support for the project.